WEF futures gathering closes with new initiatives from UAE government

WEF futures gathering closes with new initiatives from UAE government
Updated 12 November 2017

WEF futures gathering closes with new initiatives from UAE government

WEF futures gathering closes with new initiatives from UAE government

DUBAI: The World Economic Forum (WEF) wound up its two-day brainstorming session on future policy with commitments to new initiatives in technology, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) by the government of the UAE.
The annual meeting of 700 thought-leaders from the WEF’s global future councils was formally closed by Mohammed Al-Gergawi, UAE minister for Cabinet affairs and the future, who announced a plan to develop a center for future readiness, and a global framework to assess progress toward it.
He also unveiled plans to create new positions as “future ambassadors” for the UAE, and to work towards global protocols for artificial intelligence and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” — the WEF’s term for the rapid technological transformation of society and economies.
“This meeting is a key performance indicator for governments in the world. The commitment to the future continues to grow in momentum. A human-centric strategy, ministerial council and governance framework are now in place,” Al-Gergawi said.
He added that the Global Futures Councils would meet again to assess progress and decide on other initiatives next November. The WEF council on AI and robotics agreed to act as an adviser to the UAE’s new ministry for artificial intelligence.
The meeting also heard that young people in the Middle East expect a “massive disruption” to their lives and work patterns from changes in technology, but that many feel comfortable with living and working in an environment where robots exist alongside humans, according to a WEF survey.
The WEF polled 1,600 people between the ages of 18 and 35 in the summer, and found that 58 percent of them in the Middle East and North Africa expect to experience significant changes to their jobs and careers as a result of technological change, while 52 percent believe that studying and learning will be similarly affected. But 23 percent said they would trust a decision made by a robot on their behalf.
In the same survey, 24 percent of respondents said that they had shared a news article on the Internet or social media that they later learned was fake, with a further 17 percent admitting that they probably had done so without realizing it.
The gathering was told that the world’s cities have to become more active in influencing climate change policy, because they are responsible for 75 percent of global carbon emissions.
“Shanghai, Dhaka, Karachi, Hong Kong and Miami are literally going under water,” said Robert Muggah, research director of the Igarapé Institute, Brazil.
By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be urbanized. Tokyo’s GDP is already greater than that of Russia, South Korea or Canada.
“If we get our cities right, we just might achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals and we may limp through the 21st century, but if we get our cities wrong — we’re doomed,” he added.
“Global decision-making remains dominated by nation states. It’s time to offer the cities a place at the negotiating table. Cities also need greater freedom to solve their own problems by focusing on becoming greener and smarter,” said Muggah.
Jean Marie Guehenno, chief executive of Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said that cities are becoming more fragile, and urban violence is on the rise in many parts of the world.
Regional rivalries in the Middle East and Asia have become more pressing. “A function of the retreat of the US is that all countries feel more on their own,” he added, warning that this rising violence, along with unprecedented levels of forced migration, were posing major risks to developing countries.


FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event
Updated 19 January 2021

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event
  • The theme for 2020 will be “The Neo-Renaissance”

DUBAI: More than 140 prominent international speakers have been confirmed to speak at this year’s Future Investment Initiative (FII), which will take place on Jan. 27-28.

Some of the top names announced this week include Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman; David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group; Credit Suisse Group CEO Thomas Gottstein; Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani; Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total; Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK’s minister of state for trade; Hyperloop One co-founder Josh Giegel; and David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group.

The theme for 2020 will be “The Neo-Renaissance,” and due to travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 60 speakers will attend in-person in Riyadh, while 80 will participate virtually from hubs in New York, Paris, Beijing and Mumbai.

Some of the other speakers will include Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and chairman of the FII Institute; Ray Dalio, co-chairman and chief information officer of Bridgewater Associates; Snam CEO Marco Alvarez; Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, and special envoy and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.; Eric Cantor, vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Co.; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World; and Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih,

In addition, delegates can expect to hear from Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud, Saudi ambassador to the US; Dr. Kai Fu Lee, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures; Thomas Barrack, executive chairman of Colony Capital; EDF CEO Jean Bernard Lévy; Jean Todt, president of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile; Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra; and Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital and former White House director of communications.